I’ve heard plenty of Christians talking about partnering with God in His work. I think this is a great concept, but usually when that work is explained it’s incredibly limited. When people partner with God in his work, they’re often talking about building the church, and even then the church is so narrowly defined you’d think God’s work was exclusively about building small, academic institutions in which people study theories about God. I think God is truly working to build those small academic communities we commonly think of as church, but the whole church is much larger and less easily defined. God can see the church but we can only feel around in the dark and recognize it when we see a common Jesus in a neighbors heart.
That said, I think God is working on much, much more than building the church. If we look at the work God has done, we see God has made beauty, so I think creating beauty is Gods work. We see that God has created structure and order, so cultivating a place is God’s work, too. God created love, and seeks to protect love, so creating and protecting love is Gods work and we can partner with him in that work. God created brains that can solve problems, so science is God’s work as well as theater and literature.
When we narrowly define God’s work, we end up channeling people into working for the church, often motivated by guilt, rather than partnering with God in whatever skill or passion he has given to them as a gift, as a way of bonding with him.
So, do you really believe planting a garden is a way to partner with God in his work? Do you believe writing and performing a play is partnering with God in his work? What about studying micro-organisms? What about baking a cake? It’s all God’s world, and in everything we do we can partner with him in his love for it. How do you partner with God?